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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 3 66 some for my own players. As I observed his knowledge of football, his charisma and his engaging personality at work, I came to appreciate my great friend in a new light. A phenomenal coach and an even better recruit- er, he surely had no peer when it came to his ability to convince a mom and dad how his team was going to win championships with the help of their son. My wife and I were so happy that day in 1986 when it was announced that Ron was coming to Indianapolis to be the Colts' new head coach. We smiled with satis- faction, but weren't all that surprised, as we watched him lead the team to wins in those last three games of the season after going winless the year before. The following season, when the Colts won the AFC East Di- vision Championship, we were even more proud of our old friend for being named AFC Coach of the Year for the second time his career. The best part of Ron's coaching in Indianapolis was the opportunity it afforded us to reconnect. We could play golf together again, talk football and take our wives out for dinner. It even brought us our first football collaboration since our Purdue days. Ron called and asked me to be the Colts' represen- tative to BLESTO, an early version of the NFL scouting combine, tasked with the responsibility for scouting personnel at each Colts home game. I was fortunate to help the Colts in that capacity for 10 years. I'll always be grateful to Ron for giving me that assignment and honored he thought enough of my football knowledge to entrust it to me. With his generous spirit, Ron never turned down an opportunity to give back. In an effort to help raise funds for my high school athletic program, he allowed me to auction off a day with the Colts at training camp. The folks who won that bid still tell me they count it among their greatest memories. As I reflect on the early days at Purdue and the ones, years later, when life brought us together again, I real- ize that Ron Meyer never changed. He was always the same fun-loving guy, the same tough competitor, the same vivacious personality. Through all his success, he never forgot our humble beginnings and would oc- casionally remind me how much we had helped each other as teammates, young husbands and new fathers. When he emceed my retirement party, he humbled me with words of praise and congratulations on my own success, recognizing the impact a coach can have on the lives he or she touches. Coach Ron Meyer certainly had that kind of impact, as the world has so readily seen in the outpouring of goodwill and wonderful remembrances expressed about him in the days since his sudden passing Dec. 5. When I learned Ron was playing golf that day, I couldn't help but recall the time, many years before, when I showed him how to hold a club for the first time at the Purdue "south course." Like so many other les- sons we learned together back at Purdue, I will always cherish that memory, and many others, about my old friend. j For those who would like to share in Meyer's lega- cy and help student-athletes in the future please send contributions to: The Ron Meyer Scholarship Fund The John Purdue Club, Mackey Arena 900 John R. Wooden Drive West Lafayette, IN 47907-2070 1241 Cumberland Ave, Suite B West Lafayette, IN 47906 Phone: 765-497-0197 A Fee-Based Investment Advisor located in the Purdue Research Park 25+ Years of Investment Management Experience Bill Banker, President Purdue University Alumnus '85 Purdue Baseball Alumnus '81-'85

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